Dramatic Penalties Increase for Cal/OSHA Violations

The California Legislature passed a budget trailer bill this year (SB 96) that increased the amount of various penalties for violations of state occupational safety and health laws. Currently, penalties for violating California’s occupational safety and health laws are the highest in the United States.

Here are the things California employers should do to avoid heavy penalties:

Poster Violations

  • Post the required Cal/OSHA notice “Safety and Health Protection on the Job” in an obvious location frequented by employees, such as the break room. Failure to comply could result in a penalty of up to $12,471 for each violation.

    • Violating the requirements intentionally or repeatedly can result in penalties ranging from $5,000 to $124,709.

    • Keep in mind that these penalty amounts can increase on an annual basis.

Reporting and Recordkeeping

  • DO NOT terminate or discriminate against employees for:

    • Exercising employee rights protected by federal OSHA

    • Reporting an occupational fatality, injury, or illness; or

    • Requesting access to job-related injury or illness reports and records;

  • Report serious injuries or deaths immediately to the nearest Cal/OSHA district office.

  • Record each work-related injury or illness on the Form 301: Injury and Illness Incident Report, then transfer information on each Form 301 to Form 300: Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illness.

  • Post the Form 300A: Annual Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses from February 1 to April 30 every year, even if no work-related injuries or illnesses happened during the previous year.